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How to Completely Wipe your Android Phone Before Selling it

Nowadays technology is advancing day by day, if you buy a smartphone today, there will be a latest upgraded version tomorrow to meet the trend with future technology. So when you decide to buy a new smartphone there are two options to deal with your old smartphone; either you recycle it or sell it.

Selling is a good option as you will get some amount of money to invest in your new smartphone. Now the most important thing is the privacy protection as it may carry sensitive business information, financial details, important contacts, and even the confidant photos which are not the things you want to access by anybody else.

Now the basic question arises that is it safe to give your smartphone to an unknown buyer? Well, it’s absolutely not safe as privacy violations are a big deal and it can ruin your life if private data release into the public. To keep that in mind you should ensure that your data and personal information wiped clean properly before you sell your Android devices.

Your personal e-mails, messages, images should be backed up before giving into other hands. Extra accessories like MicroSD card, SIM card should be removed from every nooks and corners of your Android smartphone before selling it.

Here are the steps to taken care to wipe the history from your android device and ensure a safe and secure hand over.


1. Back Up

Backing up your data is the major concern before selling up the smartphone. If all of the files are stored in the SD card, then you can easily remove it. But if your files are stored in the internal memory you have to connect your smartphone with the computer through USB cable then drag and drop the desired file to your computer.

If you are using 3rd party app then make sure to transfer the file from separate 3rd party folder. Another major concern is to transfer the apps and their storage to your new device. This can be done easily on rooted device. Make sure you use a carrier service or 3rd party app to back up your contacts and e-mails. As your contacts and e-mails are linked with Google account and they store themselves in cloud and whenever a new user sign in with another account all data will be restored.

2. Encrypt Your Data

This is an inbuilt feature of Android which will convert the data in an unreadable, seemingly scrambled form. After that whenever you power on the device you have to enter the PIN or password to decrypt the data. So if someone tries to do a data recovery on your phone after buying the phone it will ask for the PIN to read it, and they won’t have the PIN. Encryption is simple and here is how to do it:

  1. Make sure your device is fully charged as it may takes hours for the encryption process as per your data size.
  2. Browse to Settings -> Security -> Encryption. Tap on the option Encrypt Phone. You can also encrypt the SD card but it’s always recommended to remove before selling.

Encrypt-Data-android-statusIf you want to know more details about encrypting your device before doing it, check this article – How to Encrypt Android Device Data Easily

3. Factory Reset

If you are done with backing up procedure and encryption, then you can wipe your device completely. There are two ways: either you can keep your phone in recovery mode and then clicking on factory reset command or go to Settings then to Back up & Reset and then to Factory data reset. This couple of procedure will erase all your data. Once your device is restarted you will find a welcome screen like when you purchased a new smartphone. Then you can check all the folders that any file has been left in your smartphone.

4. Filling your Phone with Junk Data

Above three methods are enough to keep your data safe but if you are still cautious about it you can overwrite the device with junk data and then perform a factory reset again. You can fill your storage with few large video files easily.

If you don’t want to do it manually there are apps available in the Play store perform this task, like iShredder 3.

Remove SIM card

It may sound obvious to some but first thing you need to do when decide to sell you smartphone is to remove the SIM card. The SIM card holds much information about your contact circles and personal accounts which you will obviously want to transfer it your new phone.

Remove SD card

Removing SD card is the most important thing which you should do before giving your Android smartphone to the new owner’s hands. It’s absolutely not recommended to give away the SD card along with your mobile as it is very easy to recover the data from the card with right tools even if you format it.

Bottom Line

Even though all these steps are simple ones, they are all important to keep the personal data safe. Once you follow all these steps to clean the device, it’s safe to sell your equipment.

Jose Tinto is a Professional Blogger, WordPress Enthusiast and Founder of AndroMint. Add +Jose Tinto on Google+ for more Updates.

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